We are a month into our new “school” year and things are going fairly well. I’ve made a few more changes *which I shall share later*, finally received some items I had been waiting for, and I am still trying to find that balance between wife/mother/teacher/self. Hopefully by the end of this month I will have worked out the balance issue *it would help if I actually sat down and wrote out my commitments and when they will get my time…so I‘m not working on them during the day…note to self do that later!*.

Even though we have been in full school swing for the past month, the rest of American schools are just starting the back to school dance. This has its advantages for us homeschoolers since we can refill our stock piles of supplies at some great discounts. Since we don’t currently live in the states I asked my father to get us some school supply items which were cheaper at his local store than they are here.

While rattling off my list we got into the discussion of what we are doing this year, are the boys headed for traditional school? The answer was of course no, but I didn’t have to endure the stereotypes. In fact my family is far more supportive than most families, I also went to college for education so I know that changes the way they see things. Of course my school experience is also what sends me on a rampage when I hear “parents should have a degree to homeschool” but that is a rambling for another day.

Anyways, what he did say was “make sure you have a way to keep records and stuff, you don’t want to not do that”. Now given the ages of the boys I don’t really do grade keeping, but I do keep track of what they do. We have a two drawer filing cabinet, one drawer for each boy. Each cabinet has folders for grade level and subject. I keep their finished workbooks/worksheets/art projects *that fit* inside this cabinet. Unless it is in one of their binders *we have one for Language Arts/Handwriting/Japanese, Science, and History at the moment*.

Once they get older *probably 4th-5th grade level* I’ll actually keep grades. I don’t see a need to make a big fuss about grade keeping in the lower grade levels, I think it puts way too much stress on a child. I will put a 100 on a math worksheet if Child #1 got all the questions right *as an incentive to keep up the good work*. If he didn’t get them all right I don’t put anything, instead I circle the ones he missed and when he completes them correctly he receives his 100. I think this shows him that he has the power to correct his mistakes and the importance of taking his time and ensuring he always double checks his work.

But what will we do once we reach the level where I should have some grades to appease the school system and family? Well I have already put together a binder that we use *aside from the grade book portion*. In it is a calendar, weekly lesson plan, book list, field trip form *mostly used for planning purposes and to keep track of where we have gone so we can flip through when they are older and reminisce about our time here*.

Everything we use in our Family/Lesson Planner can be found HERE. That is right all you need is a printer in order to keep track of grades and pretty much everything else. And don’t worry because mommy made transcripts are taken by public/private schools as well as colleges, and they will even take a portfolio.

There are also online methods of keeping track of lesson plans, grades, and everything else us homeschoolers do. I’ve used them before but find that I often forget to go back and fill things in. I also didn‘t care for the basic version, so if I go back to this method later down the line it would be when we *The Spouse and I* think it is worth investing in the plus version *probably when we start the middle school years* for now though pen and paper are far my affective for us in this area.

So what method do you use to keep track of everything your little one(s) are doing?

Copyright(c) 2010 Rayven Holmes


  1. This is also great practice/preparation for if you move to a state that requires annual documentation like portfolios, annual tests, or assessments by a professional. Your Dad's got a great point; you don't want to *not* do it, because then it will be a big hassle if you are stationed somewhere like that where recordkeeping is important. Being in the habit now like you are means smooth sailing no matter where you roam. :-)

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